Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?
I am the most impatient person I know. If something doesn’t give me instant results, I am bored, despondent and can be down right offensive to the people around me. It means I get things done really fast but give up on something quickly. That’s why I’m not in charge of our social media posting. I wrote it off in month one through to eleven because nothing was happening - some lovely comments, lots of likes, a fair bit of sharing but no business. Made me want to shout obscenities from the top of the social media mountain.
Then at the strike of 12 months after a lot of whinging from me and work from Nerissa, people started to connect with us about helping them with marketing. It became a mildly profitable channel.
To use social media as an awareness channel and build a potential audience that will buy from you, the recommended posting for Facebook is 5 per day, LinkedIn 2 per day, Twitter 5 per day. That takes up a lot of time. Add in whitepapers and blogs and you’ve wiped out a day or more of your working week. When time equals money, which is does in any SME, social media posting is not free. It is a very time consuming and costly channel that takes a year to build an audience and deliver OK results.
Social media is great to validate who you are, what you do and that you are a safe bet to customers and over a period of time it will generate customers. Is it the only channel you should invest your marketing time and money? No. If you only have a limited amount of time and money is it is really important to work out what is going to get you the most leads and sales in the door and focus the majority of your energy and resources there.
For my money, good old fashioned paid advertising on social media wins hands down. The reason you are paying is because you are being given access to a wide, relevant audience (people who need your product and services) very quickly. If you create advertising that is insightful and interesting to your target audience and show how your product and service can help, people are more than willing to click through and see what you can offer.
In a perfect world where time comes on trees, social media and advertising work together bouncing off each other to create a harmonious and prosperous marketing world. However as I’m yet to come across a time tree, sometimes you need to be a realist and work out what will help you achieve your business results the fastest.
Jodi Gaylard is co-Director of The Revery, a marketing consultancy based in Melbourne, Australia. The Revery make leading edge marketing and powerful creative available to businesses that are striving for growth but looking to stay lean.
Image via Flickr CC/Dominik Bartsch